Marquette got its start with heavy industry (especially iron), which made it an important transportation hub with rail lines and a ferry port on Lake Superior. These helped make Marquette the largest city in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, or UP for short. The city is also home to Northern Michigan University (NMU), which has 10,000 students. This large student population accounts for the variety of Marquette event venues, including the world’s largest wooden dome, officially named the Superior Dome.
Approximately 15 miles south of the center of Marquette is Sawyer International Airport (MQT), which has American Eagle and Delta Connection service to Chicago, Detroit and, seasonally, Minneapolis/St. Paul.
The aforementioned Superior Dome is among the chief convention venues in Marquette; it hosts lots of sports but also meetings in space that can seat 8,000 persons and accommodate 16,000. NMU also has the Vandament Area and Berry Events Center.
Hotel venues in Marquette that are suitable for groups are all midscale properties: the 191-room Holiday Inn Marquette, which has 9,256 square feet of meeting space for up to 400 persons; the 113-room Ramada Inn Marquette, which has six meeting rooms for also up to 400 persons; the 84-room Country Inn & Suites Marquette, which has 525 square feet of meeting space for up to 40 persons; the 65-room Days Inn Marquette, which has one large meeting room; the 62-room Landmark Inn, which has a history dating back to 1930 and has accommodated Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and The Rolling Stones. It has seven meeting spaces.
There are some great function venues in Marquette. Two unique spots that are part of NMU are the Marquette Olympic Education Center, which specializes in weightlifting, speed skating and wrestling; and DeVos Art Museum, which opened in 2005. Other Marquette places are the Upper Peninsula Children's Museum, which can put on functions for people of all ages; Marquette County History Museum, which has the light-filled C. Fred Rydholm Gathering Hall for 200 persons; and the Oasis Gallery for Contemporary Art.
Groups restaurants in the city include the Vierling Restaurant & Marquette Harbor Brewery, which has been in business for more than 100 years but started its brewery only in 1995; a little piece of Louisiana at the other end of the nation, Lagniappe Cajun Creole Eatery; L’Attitude Cafe-Bistro, which has an international menu and 46°, a private room with a back wall comprising 1,300 bottles of wine; Elizabeth Chop House, which is modeled on a New York City steak house and has a private room for 25 persons; and, right on the shore of Lake Superior, Cocos, which has a large, formal dining room with wooden walls and a white, beamed ceiling.